Free Virtual Tours & Entertainment (from RAILS and DeKalb Public Library)
- Access Mars: Check out a 360 degree tour of Mars from the Mars Rover
- Air Pano: Air Pano is a group of Russian photographers that takes 360 degree photos and videos of important places around the world. Many beautiful places are available to explore.
- The Art Institute of Chicago's collection is searchable online and includes additional information for each artwork. They have also added interactive features.
- Explore the exhibition "El Greco: Ambition and Defiance"with curator Rebecca Long and research associate Jena Carvana. Follow along as they lead you through the galleries and share some of the reasons El Greco and his work continue to fascinate us.
- The British Museum has an interactive timeline. Just pick a date and learn more about the thousands of artifacts that make up their collection.
- Discovery Education Virtual Field Trips: STEM field trips to the Johnson Space Center, arctic tundra, and more
- Five Gardens You Can Virtually Tour
- Hogwarts Digital Escape Room
- The Metropolitan Opera will live stream an opera each evening at 6:30 pm central time. The recording will stay on their homepage for 20 hours.
- The Louvre–Paris: Virtual tours of some of the historic museum’s most famous collections
- The Monterey Bay Aquarium Live Cams highlight penguins, sea otters, and sharks.
- The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. has a variety of online resources, including family activities and recorded lectures.
- National Museum of Anthropology–Mexico City: Collections related to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic civilizations.
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art–South Korea: Modern Korean art and design.
- National Theatre livestreaming plays on Thursdays
- The Newberry Library is recruiting volunteers to transcribe their digital collections.
- NPR Music: Guide to streaming concerts
- Ravinia Concert Videos
- Shedd Aquarium: Keep up-to-date on the daily lives of the aquarium’s animals on Facebook, Instagram
, and Twitter; create learning experiences for early learners through the Sea Curious YouTube series; check out live views from the Underwater Beauty special exhibit, and dive deep with 360-video views to Keep Sharks Swimming and more at sheddaquarium.org.
- The Vatican–Rome: Tour one of the world’s most beautiful buildings.
- Yellowstone National Park: Watch live footage of the Mud Volcano, Fountain Paint Pot, and more
Free eBooks and eReading
- Audible eAudiobooks: At stories.audible.com, you will find hundreds of titles available completely free. The collection has been handpicked by their editors and is a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18. These stories offer a screen-free option. There are selections for listeners in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian.
- Cricket eBooks (requires registration): Register for your 1-year FREE membership to the Cricket eBook Library. Then, login anytime from a computer, tablet or mobile device to access our growing library of audio-narrated eBooks. Up to 300 eBooks available, and more being added every day.
- DigiLibraries: Free e-books in a variety of formats, including Chromebook compatible.
- Librivox: Free public domain audiobooks.
- Project Gutenberg: Free public domain e-books.
Free Educational Resources (from RAILS) - Note: some require account creation
- ABC Mouse 30-day free trial
- Beanstalk: Educational materials focused on pre-school aged youth. Free to join during COVID-19 pandemic.
- Britannica Digital Learning: Get free access to Britannica LaunchPacks, for social studies and science, being leveraged by schools across the world who are grappling with shutdowns, conducting virtual lessons, and working to minimize the impact on students, families, and staff.
- Mathspace: adaptive math program for grades 3-12 that gives students feedback at every step of their work. Also includes full etextbook aligned to state and common core standards and instructional videos and reporting tools. Any school that has closed during the COVID-19 pandemic is eligible for free access.
- Mental health resources from Chicago Public Library
- NASA STEM Engagement: A variety of STEM-related videos, homework help, and games from NASA.
- PBS Learning Media: Curated collection of free, standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans and more for Illinois teachers.
- Scholastic Teachables: This resource for PreK – 6th Grade offers printable activities for any subject: math, science, reading comprehension, STEM, writing, and beyond. Download printable lesson plans, reading passages, games and puzzles, clip art, bulletin board ideas, teacher supports, and skills sheets. Over 25,000 teacher created, vetted printables to support your instruction.
- User ID: schteachables46
- Password: blue
- ScienceBuddies: Science Buddies offers thousands of free resources for learning STEM, including a collection of 160+ fun, hands-on STEM activities and videos. Each of our K-12 activities covers a specific STEM concept, can be done in an hour or less, and can usually be done with materials easily found at home.
- SpellingCity: Efficient game-based study of literacy skills using any word list. Currently free with code "VSCFree90".
A comprehensive list of resources can also be found at www.amazingeducationalresources.com. This list was not created or vetted by RAILS, but is a compilation of resources curated by the educator community.